PRESENT SIGNAGE FOR AED LOCATIONS IS NOT STANDARDISED, AND CAN BE CONFUSED WITH FIRST AID
When someone has a sudden cardiac arrest, time is of the essence - defibrillation within the first 3 minutes is vital to increasing the chances of survival from around a mere 10% to more than double that. Therefore, knowing the precise location of an AED will save time. Mistaking a first aid sign for an AED location sign could mean the difference between life and death for the patient.
Presently, there is no standard sign or symbol that lets somebody know the location of an AED. Currently, a common symbol used is the green background, white writing, and a white heart with a lightning bolt going through it. The similarity between this symbol and the commonly used First Aid symbol may lead to confusion in a high-stress moment.
An AED is NOT a piece of first aid equipment, and as such, should not be aligned with the symbol for first aid. An AED is a piece of lifesaving, emergency resuscitation equipment. As such, it needs its own, uniquely identifiable nationally-recognised symbol so that in the event of a cardiac arrest, a panicked bystander does not go and approach someone with a first aid symbol displayed on the doorway of their business instead of going to the business with a Heart of the Nation symbol.
Our goal is to help save lives - but we cannot do it alone - we need the community to buy into this initiative, and help support the awareness of this symbol of recognition for those businesses, workplaces and community groups that have AED's on-site to help save lives. Remember - this is not a matter of first aid - it's life and death, and needs to be prioritised as such!